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California Drivers License Endorsements

California Drivers License Endorsements

In most situations, drivers license endorsements are used for granting you additional driving privileges without having you to apply for a different type of drivers license. Most of the California driver's license endorsements apply to commercial drivers licenses and thus won't be useful to those who currently hold a regular class C license. However, there are exceptions to this trend, such as a motorcycle endorsement. A motorcycle endorsement can be added to any regular drivers license.

California Driver License Endorsement Codes

Keep in mind that the list of California driver's license endorsements that is presented here is not full and you may always contact the Department of Motor Vehicle for more details regarding any specific endorsement.

  • H - Placarded or marked vehicles transporting hazardous materials or wastes.
  • N - Tank vehicles (including a cement truck).
  • P - Passenger transport vehicles.
  • S - School bus.
  • T - Double trailer combination.
  • X - Tank vehicles transporting hazardous materials or wastes. (Hazardous waste must meet the definition of VC 353 and 15278.)
  • M1 - Motorcycle endorsement.
  • M2 - Motorcycle endorsement.

To get the HazMat endorsement, you must pass a written test based on the information in Section 9 of the California CDL drivers manual. You also will need a tank vehicle endorsement if you transport hazardous products in a cargo tank. If you apply for an original or renewal HazMat endorsement, you must undergo a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) federal security threat assessment (background records check). You start the TSA background records check after you apply for your CDL at DMV, successfully complete all appropriate law tests, and submit a valid medical form. You must submit fingerprints, a fee, and any additional required information to one of TSA’s designated agents.

California Motorcycle Endorsement

You can either add a motorcycle endorsement to your existing California drivers license or apply for a separate motorcycle driver's license if you do not currently hold a regular license. The application process is very similar to that of applying for a regular license - you will have to take a separate California permit test, get a permit, than pass the California driver's test and get your motorcycle drivers license. The permit test will be somewhat different from the regular one and will emphasize the regulations that apply to motorcycles. You may wish to take a few California drivers practice tests to see if you are prepared for the exam. Signing up for a California drivers education class is also not a bad idea if you have not competed the class yet.

California License Restrictions

Apart from granting you additional driving privileges with these driver license endorsements, the DMV may also slap some restrictions onto your license. California driver's license restrictions are used to discourage or prevent you from driving under certain conditions, for example, if you take the driving test on a vehicle equipped with an automatic transmission, you are not allowed to drive a vehicle that is equipped with a regular manual gear shifter.

If you have questions about any specific California drivers license endorsement, please contact your local DMV office for assistance.